Hit Them Where It Hurts: A Plea for Funding Agencies to Hold Abusers Accountable

Funding agencies can and must catalyze this change by placing sanctions on abusive PIs—giving universities an incentive to both hire and keep researchers who will abide by a code-of-conduct. These changes will not only benefit women, people of color, gender/sexual minorities, and other under-represented groups; they are an absolute imperative to protect the future of a robust and sustainable STEM enterprise.

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Deanna ArsalaComment
Stephen Hawking: A Remembrance

His close companions will remember his charm and wonderful spirit, and all will remember his personal struggles, particularly his diagnosis of and time with ALS. The latter is what distinguished him from most scientists and made him an inspiration to many people across the world, including me.

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Abdel HallowayComment
Ants Show Us How to Find Things Faster

Finding food is something that ants have got down to a science. The Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm is meant to explore solutions to problems visually by tracing the possible pathways between a starting point and a destination and finding the shortest pathway as quickly as possible. This algorithm is based on how ants have naturally evolved to track down and demolish any food source within sight.

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Antibacterial Resistance: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Frivolously prescribing antibiotics, particularly when they’re not needed, provides more opportunities for antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow and reproduce. While the presence of the antibiotic does not necessarily cause resistance, it kills off and inhibits the growth of bacteria that are sensitive to it. This paves the way for resistant organisms, including disease-causing pathogens, to expand their colonies without opposition.

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V for Vaccines: Making a Convincing Case

The prevalence and rise of anti-vaccine campaigns in Trump era got me thinking about the fraudulent anti-vaccine claims that thrive today, despite the magnificent success of vaccinations against formerly fearsome diseases. I looked at scientific data that unambiguously demonstrates how effective vaccines are at preventing the most devastating diseases. However, the anti-vaccine adversary plays an unfair game and does not follow logic or evidence. As a scientist, I consider it my moral imperative to combat the claims of the anti-vaccine lobby.

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Keeping Up With the Red Queen

There have been plenty of moments throughout my first two years as a PhD student when I felt like it took all of my ingenuity, energy, and effort to maintain mediocrity. The very idea of running in place without moving forward forms the basis of a well-known and thoroughly discussed theory in evolutionary biology: the Red Queen hypothesis.

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